free software

Purism Launches Librem One, a Suite of Privacy-Protecting, No-Track, No-Ad Apps and Services

Some time back, the folks from Purism sent me a question: "Would you like to record some voice-over for a little commercial we're making?" "Sure," I say. "Why not?" They give me a script, show me a rough cut of the footage, and I record a few lines. Easy peasy. The only problem? The commercial was for something that I think is a really great idea. And, the finished commercial gave me a serious case of the giggles. Yet I couldn't tell anyone about it. I was sworn to secrecy.

A Line in the Sand

There's a new side to choose. It helps that each of us is already on it. Linux Journal was born in one fight and grew through a series of others. Our first fight was for freedom. That began in 1993, when Phil Hughes started work toward a free software magazine. The fight for free software was still there when that magazine was born as Linux Journal in April 1994. Then a second fight began. That one was against all forms of closed and proprietary software, including the commercial UNIX variants that Linux would eventually defeat. We got in the fight for open source starting in 1998. (In 2005, I got a ribbon for my own small part in that battle.) And last year, we began our fight against what Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism, and Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger call re-engineering humanity.

Free and Open—and Their Opposites

A linguistic look at some tenets of Linux. Merriam-Webster defines a tenet as "a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true; especially one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession." As it happens, Linux is claimed by two doctrines that are to some degree at odds: those of free software and open source. This contention began when Eric S. Raymond published "Goodbye, 'free software'; hello, 'open source'", on February 8, 1998. Here's an excerpt: